In an unusual turn of events, a pedestrian in Helsinki, Finland, recently witnessed what could be a world-first – a delivery robot involved in a hit-and-run. The incident occurred when an S Group food delivery robot slipped off an ice and snow-covered sidewalk, colliding with a parked car in the process. The eyewitness, who recounted the incident to Finnish news outlet Yle, described the bizarre scene of the six-wheeled robot lurching back and forth against the car, its safety flag waving happily.
Rather than staying at the scene of the accident and admitting responsibility for the damage caused to the vehicle, the robotic delivery assistant made a swift escape as soon as the pedestrian placed it back onto the road. The pedestrian, taking matters into their own hands, promptly notified the emergency center about the ‘traffic accident.’
The emergency operator, though amused, maintained a businesslike demeanor and assured the witness that the police would be informed. Subsequently, the police contacted the eyewitness, requested identification, and remarked that this incident was a career first for them. This peculiar occurrence adds to a growing list of instances where delivery robots have stirred up trouble on public streets. From becoming lost in wooded areas to being mistakenly linked to bomb threats and even plowing through crime scenes, these autonomous devices have proven to be unpredictable.
Last year, S-kaupat, a chain of food stores owned by S Group Finland, partnered with Starship Technologies, a well-known delivery robot firm. Through a smartphone app, customers could access the robot delivery service. In an effort to locate and apprehend the rogue robot, the corporation is currently looking into the circumstances behind the hit-and-run occurrence.
Incidents such as this underscore the difficulties and unanticipated complexities that accompany the growing dependence on autonomous technology for routine jobs as delivery robot integration into urban surroundings progresses.